“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,
he gave up his spirit.” ~ Matthew 27:50 NIV
I woke up early this morning. And as with most mornings I try to wake up gradually. I’m really not interested in chatter, music, television, or any other sounds. I’d rather hear my thoughts in the morning. I want to get my head together and go over my day. I pray silently in the morning. I recite the Lords’ prayer in the mornings and I don’t want to be interrupted or disturbed. But for some reason my neighbor decides to let his dogs out early this morning. And all I can hear is barking and howling and more barking and more howling early this morning. All I can think is “Who Let Those Dogs Out?”
I’m sure he’s done this before. But, this morning is like none other to me. Today is Resurrection Sunday morning. I want to meditate on Christ and the resurrection this morning. But, I can’t. Why? Because of the barking and howling going on outside my window!
I would later realize that what I was dealing with was no different than what was going on as Jesus was being crucified. Verse 50 puts into context the fullness of who Jesus was as fully man and how we are to understand him as fully divine. He was fully human and fully God.
First, he was a spirit who could have side-stepped the pain and agony of the cross.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ~ Psalm 91:11-12
Even the devil questioned Jesus’ divinity after he left the wilderness: "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" ~ Matthew 4:6
But, second, in 2 words we see that he was fully human. The bible says that “Jesus Cried”. The word “Cry” is derived from the Greek Word krä'-zō which is interpreted to mean:
It is from this root Greek word Kra-zo that we get the verb krau-gazó which means:
Loud screaming or shrieking like an animal
An inarticulate (unintelligible) sound;
It’s loud and importunate. Meaning that your crying is persistent, especially to the point of annoyance or intrusion.
This was the humanity of Jesus on display.
The humanity of Jesus is as equally important as the deity of Jesus. Jesus was born as a human being while still being totally divine. The concept of the humanity of Jesus co-existing with His deity is DIFFICULT for our finite minds to understand. Nevertheless, Jesus’ nature—wholly man and wholly God—is a BIBLICAL FACT.
There are those who reject the biblical truth and declare that Jesus was a man, but not God (Ebionism). They see Jesus as a normal human being who was simply empowered by God. John 1:1,14; 8:58; 10:30; 20:28; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1:8
Docet-ism is the recognition of Jesus as God, but not human.
Apollin-arians taught that Jesus' human spirit was replaced by a divine spirit, that Jesus had a human body & soul, but not a human spirit. John 1:14; 1 John 4:1-3
Euty-chian-ism denies both Jesus' true humanity and true deity
Each viewpoint is unbiblical and false.
Jesus had to be born as a human being for several reasons. One is outlined in Galatians 4:4–5:
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
Only a man could be “born under the law.” No animal or angelic being is “under the law.” Only humans are born under the law, and only a human being could redeem other human beings born under the same law.
Born under the law of God, all humans are guilty of transgressing that law. Only a perfect human—Jesus Christ—could perfectly keep the law and perfectly fulfill the law, thereby redeeming us from that guilt. That’s why Jesus was sent by God to us. That’s why Jesus was born, that’s why he lived, that’s why he died and that’s why we celebrate resurrection Sunday. Jesus accomplished our redemption on the cross, exchanging our sin and corruption for His perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The “a” portion of verse 50 helps us to understand the importance of identifying with the humanity of Jesus Christ. He was human. He cried. He suffered. He felt compassion. He was hungry. He bled. He died. Why? Because he was just like you and me!
He faced temptation and the only difference between some of us and Jesus was that he had enough WORD on the inside of him to resist the enemy when he was tempted.
GUT YOUR HUMANITY DOESN’T STOP WITH YOU! Verse 50b helps us to understand that Jesus was able to do for us what only God can do.
“he gave up his spirit”
Notice that ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT! Once we get to a point in our lives where we think that the only options we have are the ones we can come up with on our own, WE ARE STUCK DEALING WITH LIFE AND HAVING LIFE DEAL WITH US!
Imagine if you woke up one MORNING and looked out YOUR window and noticed that it was dark outside. AND YOU WENT THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY THINKING THAT THE SUN HAS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS. You might think that you will never be able to experience the warmth of the sun, the light of the sun, your shadow or the benefits of the sun. All you know is that since the sun isn’t shinning, the sun must have gone out of business. As humans there’s a lot you can control. But there are some things that only GOD CAN DO.
I dare you to do an experiment. Experiment, humans don't give birth to elephants. Cats don't bark. When it's dark during the day, it's not because the sun has stop shinning. There may be something like clouds or fog or sand blocking the sun. I dare you to get on a plane and take off from Indianapolis International airport. And before you get to your destination, with your mind made up and resigned to the fact that the sun has retired from shining, I want you to consider that your thoughts are not God’s thoughts and your ways are not Gods ways.
It amazes me how many people have convinced themselves and made it their business to convince other people that since you don't see the sun that the sun has gone out of business. But I dare you to ascend to about 36,000 feet, break through the fog, break through the rain, break through the lightening, break through the clouds and somewhere up there you'll find a bright light shining above he clouds. The brightness might be new to you but, it might be surprising to you, it might catch you off guard. This might be a new experience for you. But this ain't new to a believer who's been looking for a "bright, sun shinny day". There are somethings that we have control over but there are other things that ONLY GOD CAN DO!
What am I saying? There are some things that Jesus said we could do. But when you've done all that you can do, you have to know how to figure out how to stretch your mind to what ONLY GOD CAN DO!
HE WAS Born of a virgin-only God can do that.
He Finished what you started - only God can do that (be not weary on well doing, for in due season....)
He hung in there. He would not come down from the cross just to save himself-only God can do that.
He decided to die - only God can do that
He finished it - only God can do that (you might start something, but only God will get the last word.)
He rose on the third day-only God can do that. Muhammad said a lot of good things but
HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!!!
Before Muhammad was born he didn’t exist. Only God could do that.
Confucius gave a lot of good sayings. But Confucius couldn't do that.
Buddha gave you good Karma. But Buddha couldn't do that.
NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU HAVE OR WHAT YOU’VE DONE NOR WHAT YOU’VE SAID, THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ONLY GOD CAN DO FOR YOU!!!!!
YOU CAN’T SAVE YOURSELF!!!!
WHY? BECAUSE OF YOUR SIN PROBLEM!!!
My God-son has goes through these episodes of pain and tremendous discomfort. When he experiences them, they are called crises. Sometimes these crises can disrupt life. Often he ends up in the hospital and it becomes very difficult to watch him writhe in pain and suffering. Similar to all of us, we face crises in our own lives that can lead to pain, agony and suffering. Just like my god son, BECAUSE OF SIN, we experience days that can disrupt our routine and push us to a place where we ask ourselves “what in the world am I supposed to do with what I’m up against?” Because of sin we fall daily and some have become accustom to being in crises mode. Some say this is just how my life is supposed to be. One crises after another. One day I got a call that my god son was experiencing a crises so bad that they had to rush him to Vanderbilt hospital. Things weren’t looking good. See, our crises is because of sin. His crises is because of his blood. He has sickle cell disease which is a disorder that occurs throughout his body and turns normal round blood cells into odd shaped, sickle-like blood cells. So our crises is sin, his crises is his blood. What causes us pain is sin and what causes his pain is his blood. What causes us trouble is sin and what causes him trouble is his blood. What causes interruptions in our lives is sin but what causes disruptions in his life is his blood.
But, let me show you how this blood thing works. See the reason why his story is just like our story is because blood is synonymous with LIFE. Without blood, nothing can live. When we sin, we separate our selves from LIFE because the wages of SIN, the bible says is death. So, when you sin, it’s just like having a blood problem because you are distancing yourself from LIFE. But, God came that we might have life and to have it more abundantly. HOW?
The last time my god-son was in the hospital, they said that his blood was in such bad shape that it was affecting every area of his body. They warned us that I they didn’t do something; his organs would begin to shut down because the blood wasn’t carrying enough oxygen throughout his body. That sounds like you and me. We sin so much that God knew that if we didn’t do something to fix our sin problem it would ultimately affect us and everything around us. It would affect our families, it would affect our schools, it would affect our neighborhoods, it would affect our relationships, careers, and even our churches.
So the doctors had only one option for my god-son. They said we will have to perform a total blood transfusion. In other words, we will have to take out all of his bad blood and replace it with life-saving good blood.
That’s why Jesus went to the cross. Because blood is the universal symbol for life, and because sin is the universal symbol of death, someone had to shed their good blood and replace our bad blood so that we might have life and not watch everything around us die. So, he died on the cross to save you and me just like the blood transfusion saved my god-son. That’s the power of the blood. When you are dead to sin, all you need is the blood because it has power to raise up the hurt, the downtrodden, the hopeless, the helpless, the last, the least the loss and the left behind.